Do you want to frame your works of art but don’t know what type of frame to choose nor which framer to turn to? Artsper is guiding you in selecting the ideal frame with our expert advice.
Choosing a framework can be complex. We are sharing our recommendations with you on how to find the frame that will suit your work best.
It is important to know that framing has a dual function. It protects the work while enhancing it.
Framing a painting on canvas
A painting on a canvas can be framed in different ways. For a canvas on chassis (a wooden structure used to keep the canvas taught) we recommend framing with an American box. The American box offers relief and depth to your canvas thanks to the floating effect of the work in the frame and its absence of glass. The technique of framing consists of leaving 1 to 2 cm between the canvas and the frame. The space between the frame and the edge of the canvas allows a complete view of the subject and makes it interesting.
If your canvas is not on stretchers and you received it rolled in a tube, there are two options available to you. You can choose to have the canvas stretched on a stretcher by a professional, or you can frame it in a simple glass frame.
You can also decide to take care of stretching your canvas on a stretcher yourself by following the instructions below or click on this link :
- Place and staple the canvas on the frame, leaving 4cm overhanging.
- Use a plier to stretch the canvas. Stretch the canvas and staple both the left and right corners, approximately 4cm apart.
- Staple the opposite side in the same way.
- Turn the canvas over to work on the other two opposing sides of the frame.
- Staple the canvas in the middle.
- Finish by turning all the corners into right angles and adding a final staple.
Framing a photograph on Dibond
Dibond is a compound material. It has a sandwich structure in which two aluminium plates are thermally bonded to a solid polyethylene plate in the center. Dibond is lighter than aluminium, but it is designed to retain its rigidity and flatness. It is made of stainless steel, resistant to corrosion, to UV and to shocks. The Dibond panels are generally available in thickness of 2, 3 or 4 mm.
If you want to frame your photograph on Dibond we advise you to opt for an American box frame. This will perfectly enhance works with a certain thickness.
As for paintings on canvas, the American box offers relief and depth to your photo thanks to the floating effect of the work in the frame.
Framing a print, photograph, engraving, silkscreen, digital print or drawing
Works on paper are always framed in a simple frame. A simple frame is composed of wooden or aluminium rods that form the rim, a glass pane and a cardboard box. It will however, be necessary to choose between a full-page frame (when the frame corresponds to the dimensions of the work) or a frame with a passe-partout.
The passe-partout is a central cardboard sheet, located between the borders of the frame and the work. It allows you to give depth to your work by placing a margin between the print and the frame edges.
The Marie-Louise, related to the passe-partout, is used for oil pieces. Just like the passe-partout, it is placed between the work and the frame but its difference lies in the material. It is a wooden panel covered with a fabric, usually linen.
For small sizes (<A4) you can choose a passe-partout between 1 and 10 cm wide to provide space for your artwork without rendering it invisible in too much space.
White (or off-white) passe-partout is the most common. It allows the work to “breathe” in the frame. We advise you to use a passe-partout for works with lots of details and with wide frames so as not to make the work too crowded.
A black passe-partout with a black frame gives depth to a work in dark tones.
You can also be creative and opt for colored mats or frames.
Different types of glass for single frames
Once you have chosen the right frame, you will have to choose the corresponding glass.
Glass is important if you wish to protect your works on paper (watercolor, print, engraving, drawing) from dust, humidity and other external elements.
There are three types of glass:
1. Basic/ Standard
Basic glass is most commonly used. It protects the work but reflects the light. These reflections can alter how the work is appreciated.
This glass is partly frosted. It protects from reflections but can interfere with color rendering.
3. Invisible optics
Invisible optic glass faithfully reproduces the colors, fineness and quality of works on paper whether they are drawings, prints or photos. Treated on both sides, it allows transparency and blocks reflections and light rays.
Durable and maximum protection against UV and harmful rays for an optimal rendering.